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I got Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The time interval between the first and second doses was 40 days. I know ideally they want 21 days. However, I couldn’t make it, so here I am.

Is this going to be sufficient for international travel? I need to fly from the USA to Indonesia. Am I considered full vaccinated? Or does it have to be exactly 21 days?

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  • 6
    Whether your vaccination circumstances meets the requirements of your destination depends on the destination. "South East Asia" isn't enough specificity. Into what country will you arrive? Oct 17 at 4:04
  • Thanks, it’s Indonesia
    – user123573
    Oct 17 at 4:45
  • 21 might have been the initial advise from Pfizer, but they have softened that quite a bit. Some of the people who got the vaccinate first here in Denmark probably got their two shots with an interval of 21 days, but later in the process that became quite abnormal - I think the interval between my two shots was 36 days. Oct 17 at 16:47
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    Actually 3 vs 4 weeks is thought to one of the reasons why the Pfizer vac is doing slightly worse than Moderna.
    – eps
    Oct 17 at 19:14
  • Note that as of today you’ll still need to quarantine in Jakarta for 5 days even when vaccinated, when coming from the US (or most other countries) Oct 18 at 2:31
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The official recommendation from Pfizer is that the 2nd dose should be received between 3 and 6 weeks from the date of the 1st dose. This recommendation is mirrored by the US CDC, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).

As you received your 2nd dose 40 days after the first, you are (just!) within the 3-6 week window, and thus would be considered fully vaccinated.

Indonesia specifically does not appear to have stated any requirements around vaccine timing, and in general most countries are taking the approach that if you are vaccinated within the rules of your home country, then you are considered vaccinated (although this does NOT always apply to the type of vaccine used, just the timing).

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You need not worry about a slight delay after (what in many countries is considered) the minimal/maximum period of 3/6 weeks for the Comirnaty/BioNTech/Pfizer vaccinations.

The goal of the minimal period is to swiftly offer protection against the delta variant.

The maximum period (6 weeks) is considered to offer the optimal protection for this specific vaccination product.

Since these values are based on practical experience collected and shared around the world, it is unlikely that individual countries will have radically different recommendations.

One should, however, always check the recommendations of the country one is travelling to, as well as being aware of the different names used for the same vaccination product.

Comirnaty is the name of the vaccine, developed by BioNTech and produced by Pfizer (as one of many products).


RKI - Impfen - COVID-19 und Impfen: Antworten auf häufig gestellte Fragen (FAQ)

For Comirnaty/BioNTech/Pfizer the recommendation is 3 to 6 weeks.

At the beginning of April 2021, a vaccination interval of 6 weeks was initially recommended for the mRNA vaccines, as this should achieve the best balance between good individual protection and optimal civil protection. Findings on vaccination with regard to the delta variant show a significantly better protective effect after the second vaccine dose, especially against severe courses. A shorter vaccination interval therefore leads to better protection both for the individual and for the population in a timely manner.

For Spikevax/Moderna the recommendation is 4 to 6 weeks.

For Vaxzevria/AstraZeneca the recommendation is 9 to 12 weeks.

The studies showed that the interval between the two vaccine doses influences the effectiveness of the vaccination and a longer time interval has a positive effect on the level of vaccination protection. The effectiveness of a double vaccination with an interval of 4-8 weeks was about 50%, while the effectiveness with an interval of 8-12 weeks was about 72% and with a vaccination interval of> 12 weeks it was about 75%. These results are supported by immunogenicity data, which show that when the standard dose is administered, increasing the dose interval leads to higher antibody levels and higher GMT values ​​(<6 weeks: 22,222 (95% CI 20,360-24,225) vs. 9-11 weeks : 34,754 (95% CI 30,287-39,879).

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